Northwestern Medical Center was recently recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies for an innovative upgrade to the hospital’s cooling plant.
NMC, in collaboration with Dubois & King, designed a campus-wide upgrade that involved installing a new 390-ton water-cooled chiller interconnected with a remote chilled water system, creating a true chilled water plant. The system needed to have a 1,000 gallon-per-minute pumping capacity within a confined space.
Innovative elements in the design allowed installation of some equipment underground to conserve space, and decoupling cooling needs from operating rooms provided energy cost savings while maintaining crucial system redundancy.
“I’m proud NMC earned this award because I felt that the project really furthered NMC’s goals of becoming a leader in healthcare innovation, and working toward achieving an energy star rating,” said Eric Brigante, Project Manager at NMC.
“For me, the most exciting part of receiving this award on behalf of NMC, was that we were the only mechanical project to win. Out of ten awards all but ours was a civil construction project – and that says a lot about the impressive nature of our project,” he said.
The project’s largest challenge was installation of a major piece of equipment into a space originally designed for something with one-fourth the capacity. The project realized construction cost savings of almost 50 percent of the anticipated cost.